Fight the Frump: Around The House

Fight the Frump is back, and today we’re going to discuss what we wear at home. It’s easy to feel like it doesn’t matter what we wear around the house, but I beg to differ.

How we dress has a direct impact on how we feel, how we treat others, and how efficient we are in our daily tasks. And while our husbands and kids may tell us they don’t care, most will actually appreciate our efforts when we level up our at-home style.

But even if they don’t, that’s not really the point. It’s about self care and feeling good about ourselves so we can be the best mom/wife/employee/friend we can be, so today I challenge you to take a good hard look at your “at-home style” and ask yourself if this is an area where you need to fight the frump.

joggers // similar hoodie // slip-on sneakers

It’s fine to give yourself a grace day here and there, but if that starts becoming a habit, it can really affect your mood and ultimately your well-being.

I went through a period of time when I fell into a rut of wearing schlumpy yoga pants and oversized sweatshirts every day. I was at home most of the time, the kids were little, and I felt like it didn’t matter. Before I knew it, I was in a full-fledged depression. I don’t remember what happened to pull me out of my funk, but I’ve never forgotten how miserable I felt and how little I cared about what I wore, and now I make it a priority to get dressed and put together *almost* every day. It makes SUCH a difference.

My go-to at-home uniform is usually distressed jeans with a cute t-shirt and sandals (summertime) or distressed jeans with a cute sweater and ballet flats (wintertime.) I don’t save my denim for going out. I’m perfectly comfortable in jeans, and I want to get my money’s worth out of my purchases so I often wear them all day even when I’m not going anywhere. My AG legging ankle jeans are usually the first thing I reach for when I go to my closet in the morning, and I often build the rest of my outfit around my comfiest pair of skinny jeans.

That said, I totally get that most women save their pricier pieces for going out and have other clothes they keep for wearing around the house. That’s completely fine, as long as what we’re wearing around the house is current and flattering and fits well — and it doesn’t have to be jeans. Thank goodness for the athleisure trend!

Joggers, yoga pants, or leggings (if your shirt is long enough to cover your business) are perfectly acceptable — as long as they fit well and you wear them with other pieces that fit well and compliment you.

That said, if you’re not cleaning or doing messy tasks, why not pull on some jeans and a cute top? It doesn’t take any longer than pulling on yoga pants and a sweatshirt, and you’ll look and feel SO much better.

Let’s talk about some cute at-home looks that are comfortable, practical, AND stylish.

Fight The Frump: Casual At-Home Style

#1. Knit Tunic + Jeans + Slip On Sneakers

hoodie (option/budget option) // jeans (or leggings) // shoes // bag

This Athleta knit tunic is a great around-the-house top to throw on with jeans or even leggings. I like the black jeans with it, but blue jeans are fine too. It’s old, but this cashmere/wool hoodie from Zella is another great option, and you can definitely go cheaper with Old Navy or Gap.

Most jeans these days have some stretch in them and are pretty comfortable, but if you don’t want to wear jeans around the house, Zella is super popular for their leggings, and you may even be able to snag a pair on sale if you hurry! (The #NSale ends on August 5th.) (How cute are these street style high waist leggings?) For non-athletic leggings, I really like my $36 Hue wide waistband leggings, but I always make sure my shirt is long enough to cover ev.er.y.thing.

Add Converse or slip-on sneakers, and you’ll look on trend and put-together even if you’re just going to spend the day doing laundry and binge watching Fixer Upper. (Don’t pretend like you don’t want to…)

#2. Joggers + Tee + Drapey Thermal Cardigan + Converse

draped thermal cardigan // perfect white tee (use code Jolynne10 for 10% off) // similar joggers // converse

This is my go-to at-home outfit for the days that I don’t want to put on jeans. I like these cropped joggers for summer, and I have a full length pair for fall and winter. Besides a pair of black leggings, that’s all the “comfort wear” I own. You don’t need a drawer full of schlumpy clothes — just one or two pairs of stretchy pants will do.

This thermal cardigan is awesome because I can throw in on over my pajamas in the mornings, I can wear it with joggers on lazy days, and I wear it with jeans or shorts for a more dressed-up casual look. It’s super versatile in that way, plus I wear it all year round.

#3. Sweatshirt/Tank + Jeans + Fashion Sneakers

similar moto sweatshirt // tank // jeans (option) // Adidas Superstars

I realize these looks are all fairly similar, but this is the gist of non-frumpy stay-at-home style — stylish sweatshirt, jeans or leggings, fashion sneakers. The one I’m wearing below is a Zella piece no longer available, but I found a similar one at Old Navy. Notice how a cropped sweatshirt with the tank showing underneath adds interest and is flattering, while still being super comfortable, and the moto style obviously elevates the look over a basic zip-up hoodie.

These jeans (or these, which are on sale, hola!) are the ones I always go for first. I practically have to force myself not to wear them every day. They’re still spendy, but I always buy on sale, and the cost per wear has more than averaged out over the time I’ve had them.

That said, there are plenty of more budget-friendly options available. This pair is really good, and check out these for a non-distressed pair.

#4. Tunic + Camo Leggings + Nikes

Cyndi Spivey wearing camo leggings and black tunic

I also really like Cyndi’s take on the athleisure trend with these camo printed leggings and a black tunic. So simple and comfy, but chic and put together and appropriate for casual errands. Get her outfit details HERE.

#5. Plank Pants + Elevated Sweatshirt + Nikes

plank pants // elevated sweatshirt or pullover // Nike sneakers

This is a super duper casual look, but it’s perfect for those days when you just can’t bear to wear pants that button. These straight-leg plank pants have the comfort of leggings but look a little more like pants, and the contoured seams down the sides create a flattering silhouette.

This top is sold out, but any elevated sweatshirt or pullover will work with pants like this. I like the Zella and Alo brands a lot, or you can check Gap and Old Navy for lower prices (and they have frequent sales.)

In Conclusion

I hope this gives you some ideas for fighting the frump and leveling up your at-home look. While I like the option to wear leggings or joggers on occasion, I try not to let it become a habit. Wearing pants that button don’t only make me feel more “dressed” and efficient in my daily duties, but it also helps keep me in check as far a what I’m eating. I feel full faster and am generally more aware of how much I’ve eaten when my waistband isn’t infinitely expandable. An athleisure look here and there is fine and keeps things interesting, but I really don’t think it should be our go-to daily uniform (unless, of course, you are a full-time personal trainer or yoga instructor!)

Tops are a bit of a different story. A cute sweatshirt with jeans and fashion sneakers is perfectly acceptable, and I’m actually thinking I need to add a few more to my wardrobe. Sometimes I go to get dressed, and I feel like I have nothing to wear, and I realized recently that’s because I have too many dressy clothes for my lifestyle and not enough washable casual tops. I think I’m going to add a couple of elevated sweatshirts to my closet this fall and winter to wear when I’m at home all day.

It’s a good idea to periodically take a lifestyle audit and make sure you’re buying clothes that fit your life and not filling your closet with pretty things you have nowhere to wear. But that’s a post for another day!

Here are some comfy, casual tops that you can pair with leggings/jogger/jeans to level up your at-home style:

I also want to make a case for accessories and makeup. Just because you’re wearing sweatpants doesn’t mean you can’t throw on a pair of earrings and some light makeup. It’s amazing what a difference that makes in your overall appearance, and how you feel about yourself. Even if I don’t bother with makeup, I usually throw on some earrings and maybe a bracelet.

The ONE day during our move that I left the house without jewelry on (which was not intentional; I somehow just forgot) is the day I ended up meeting new neighbors.

I get it, they don’t care. But I do. It was a good reminder to me to always take a second to at least put some studs in my ears and maybe slap on a bracelet. It goes a long way to finishing off a casual look and making you feel put together, even if you’re just cleaning the house.

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32 Responses

  1. Great post! Need to purge more of those at home clothes. Still haven’t found plus size jeans that are THAT comfortable though. I can d

    1. Hi Anne!  I found comfy pull on skinny jeans from Talbots. I went with the 16w instead of a straight 16. They are the dark blue wash ankle jeans.  Love, love them. Very comfy. Price was high, but I watched for a sale & was able to get them half price. Christopher & Bamks also offer some comfy jeggings!  Good luck to you!  

  2. When I first saw the title to this post- in my half asleep state- i thought you were talking about making sure your house wasn’t frumpy. 😭. Like get rid of toilet seat covers or no more brass switch plates. (Haha!). I actually wouldn’t mind a post like that. But this one was great also. 😀

    1. That’s the same thing I thought when I read the title!  I was very excited about it because after being in the same house for 20 years, I’m sure there’s a lot of little things that need updating that I overlook.  But, I did enjoy this post too!

    2. Ha! I am actually planning that post too. 🙂 I figured I’d done enough home posts for one week, and someone asked for this topic so I decided to republish this post from last year.

  3. Well this could not have been a more perfect blog for me today…. I have been one of those stay at home moms over the years (who also works from home for our business) that felt perfect comfort in the leggings and long tops to cover the butt on a daily basis. I used to remember making sure after my morning walks with friends to at least come home and shower and do make- up( those are always a must for me) and change… but usually that was into another pair of leggings Ha!! We have always had a wood stove in our houses (which we built) so being cold inside the house in the winter is never something I usually get to experience, if fact I could almost keep wearing my summer wardrobe inside. However anytime I would leave the house I always dressed up…. I remember onetime after working out saying” I’ll just run down to the grocery store no one will be there”… Yeah Right… LOL I always ran into someone I knew.. So now I always step it up for even that… As I’ve gotten older and so are our children(21 and 24). I have made it a point to keep the exercise clothes separate from the after my shower clothes. I still like the leggings for around the house (believe it or not but in jeans all day I would roast) so I try to put them on even for small intervals. and of course some cute little casual tops, light weight hoodies, long cute tee’s(logo ones I like) summer months I can wear all my cute outfits around the house as there’s no stove on… These outfit ideas really help in giving me some ideas of how to still step it up.. as I like to look nice even when being home all day… earrings and a watch are a must for me no matter what (I feel naked without them) and of course a shower and make up. But I totally agree its so easy to get into this frump at home. I absolutely love the athleisure wear look for days I’m at home or need a quick trip out. I love the jogger outfit you’ve styled( what size joggers did you order?). have a great day. We are still under heat warnings which looks like its continuing right to Aug 15…. Very unlike our weather.. very muggy, humid, sunny and hot. oh well we will soon be shoveling.. Ha.

  4. FANTASTIC post Jo-Lynne!  I have finally gotten to the point that I don’t purchase items that don’t fit my ‘current’ lifestyle.  I can still like what I see on you or someone else, but that doesn’t mean it belongs in my closet.  I know that due to skin issues, I cannot wear leggings, yoga pants, etc., too often, so I have other bottoms I can wear.  I no longer wear huge/sloppy tops every day, like I used too.  Those are saved for days that I am going to be doing physical chores in the yard.  I have gotten it thru my thick skull, that it’s just as easy to launder decent tops and bottoms after I have labored and sweated, than it is to launder sloppy clothes.  And YES, I do feel better about myself throughout the day.  However, because I do sweat so bad, I do have to fold a bandana and tie it around my forehead as a sweatband.  But, I do try to coordinate the colors with my top.  I ended up going cami underneath my clothes yesterday, so that the sweat could flow instead of staying in the areas where I don’t need it to accumulate.  We are having another very rainy and yucky day here, but we’re so grateful we are safe and sound, so it’s okay.  Be blessed!

  5. Great post Jo-Lynne! I totally agree that even if I’m just hanging around the house, I feel so much better when I make the effort to look put together. I’ve never been a sweatshirt or sweatpants kind of girl but it’s easy when you’re  home to get in a rut and throw on the same old thing day after day. Plus, I know the hubs appreciates it when he comes home from work and I look presentable!

  6. What a great post and great reminder!  I have to talk to myself about this often. I feel like you do, that I should look good everyday no matter what I’m doing but some days I just don’t care. I love looking good but when you’re not going anywhere it’s hard to do. I actually don’t have comfy clothes to wear because I’ve never liked them but I still don’t always look or feel my best and I have stopped putting jewelry on most days, and I LOVE jewelry and used to sell it, so I have tons!  Anyway, thanks for the reminder because I do feel better when I look better!

  7. Jo-Lynne, you’re so right about the importance of self-care and about how our appearance affects our well-being! Plus, lots of cute ideas. Thanks! I’m particularly interested in the Alo sweatshirt you linked to, as well as the Old Navy moto sueded sweatshirt jacket–both wardrobe expanders. Now I think I’ll go put on some makeup!

  8. Thanks for the inspiration. I tend to change clothes when I get home from whatever into comfy but probably frumpy. Thus m ajes me want to do better.

  9. Great post! I totally agree with everything you said.  Getting put together makes such a differences how I feel all day.  I used to be in the habit of getting all of my chores done first and then getting ready,. Sometimes that meant I wasn’t put together until close to when the kids got home from school, and by then most of the day was gone and I’d felt shlumpy all day.  Now I try to start just after my morning coffee, and I seem to be much more productive throughout the day and feel better in the process.  One of the keys to make that easier for me is having enough casual tops/sweaters, sweatshirts or hoodies that I like.  One of my favorite hoodies last year was from Old Navy.  Today I’m going to do some online shopping to get ready for Fall.  Enjoy your day!

  10. Thanks for the great post! I love all the looks. I love a really cute sweatshirt, jeans, and tennis shoes. I never leave the house without earrings and a necklace. I also love throwing on a few bracelets to make it an outfit. I a teacher and tend to get into a rut in the summer. Thanks for all the great ideas!!

  11. I totally agree with you! I say this kind of thing all the time. I actually reposted this to my Facebook page. My problem in the summer is that I’m too hot in jeans, so I try to find some cute shorts that fill the same bill, but I do end up feeling really casual. But getting dressed each day is crucial to how we feel! I had a similar stage in my life after my daughter was born…and was miserable! Had to pull myself up by my boot straps and getting dressed was a part of that.

  12. As always, I totally love your posts. I really never thought about in home wear, although I do try to be comfortable. We are raising our 3 yr old Great Grandson and I’m at home with him a lot. I do take him to play school 3 days a week. I am trying to be more conscious about I wear. Thank you so much for the ideas as to what to wear. Hope you have a wonderful day. We are also experiencing a lot of rain in NC. Don’t float Away!! –Linda

  13. you are very wise  especially loved your thoughts on   eating better and buying clothes that look pretty but no where to wear them . Lets face it  we all cant be socialites. #basic  

  14. Happy August and first I want to say that I admire your honesty about being off your game on the fashion side of things. I loved how you admitted to being over it with the Nordstrom Sale lol.  You certainly work very hard and honestly I don’t know how you come up with some of the things you do for the blog almost everyday. You are so creative but even the most creative people get blocked and need a break. Plus this time of year is difficult because most of us aren’t buying much more for summer and ready to transition but it’s still hot for fall clothes; especially in Texas. With that said, what I find most comfortable to wear around the house is those T-shirt dresses from Old Navy. When they were on sale for $8, I snagged 3 of them and have been living in them. They are easy to throw on and still cute and cool enough to run errands in. 

  15. Great reminder post! I took it to heart the first time I read it and it’s made a difference! I’m looking forward to the sweatshirts you post. I also ordered your favorite jeans from the #nsale and they should arrive today. I hope I love them as much as you do!

  16. Great post!  I’m with you…I need to get dressed for the day.  I do my treadmill walk every morning and then take  my shower and get dressed.  I have a love affair with denim!  Ha ha.  I love wearing jeans around the house in the winter, and in the summer I roll them up as cropped jeans.  I have one or two pair that are designated as “House jeans” and save my others  for going out.   If it’s really hot, I wear a pair of denim Bermuda shorts.  I like to wear cute tees in the summer and I have a few lightweight pullover hoodies that I’ve gottten in some of the places I have visited on vacation, for the winter months.  They are cute and cozy, and bring back memories of where I’ve been.   I would love one or two elevated sweatshirts this year, too.  

  17. Question In the AG farrah skinnies are you a 28 or 29  Trying to figure out which size will fit   I seem to be built similar . I saw cindy wears the 28 worried they will be too tight as she featured them today  

  18. I would love to know more about the, black, slip on sneakers you show at the top of the blog Each time I click on the “slip on sneaker” it takes me to a hoodie. The hoodie is nice enough, but I would love to shop that black sneaker. Thank you!

  19. Jo-Lynne, I totally agree.  This has never been an issue with me.  I may be too much the other way.  I never skip make-up unless I am in bed sick.  I always dress as if I’m going to see someone (I was a stay at home mom and now a stay at home dog owner).   Since I was a young girl, I realized I felt better about myself when I looked put together and you are so right, it takes no more time.  

  20. This is a great reminder for me. I retired 2 years ago and it’s been a challenge for me to find my stride in this new lifestyle. I worked at home for many years in our ranching business, always wore jeans and a cute top of some kind and always wore mascara. Then I worked in a fairly casual dressed office job for over 20 years. So I was used to getting dressed for work and wore makeup and jewelry every day. Now that I’m retired I still usually wear mascara and now need to fill in my brows but rarely do I wear jewelry. I like the idea of wearing at least stud earrings. I used to wear a bracelet most days and like the idea of doing that again. I started volunteering because I needed something to fill my days. I think how I dress definitely affects my mood! Thanks for this post. 

  21. I grew up in a different time so 6 days per week I wear jeans or shorts, a cute top , full makeup and necklace, earrings and bracelet. Saturday is our stay at home day so in the winter I might wear leggings instead of jeans, and my jewelry might be earrings only. Shoes in the winter are flats or casual sneakers. Summer I sub sandals for the flats most days. As for makeup, I don’t usually wear eye makeup on Saturday (I’m such a slob, ha ha). If we decide to go out I can be ready in 5 minutes.

  22. Oh my gosh, I am truly Miss Frump at home during the winter. I put on oversize men’s sweatpants and a de-elevated sweatshirt! Sometimes I put on a huge t-shirt under the sweatshirt that hangs almost to my knees. What an image! During the summer I wear trapeze style dresses every day which are comfortable and cute, but the cooler months? Oh dear. So, today’s post has inspired me. I love the joggers and thermal sweater, they are in my shopping cart now. I want to make sure I find comfy joggers that don’t sit too low on the waist, otherwise it’s a constant adjustment. Thank you for the inspiration!

  23. Fight the Frump is one of my favorite posts!!  There are no age boundaries on this post!  As a 63 year old babysitting “Grammy”,  it was pretty easy for me to slip into the baggy sweats & sweatshirt routine.  Especially wintertime here in Northeast PA.  I took frump to a whole new level #itwasntpretty. Since following your blog, and especially the Frumps posts, I’ve really updated my wardrobe. The store I shop in the most has a new line of what I’ll call athleisure. I’ve added some nice hoodies, a great black stylish cardigan, more stylish athletic pants, and some really pretty comfy tops.  I stuck with more solids than prints and am finding my wardrobe is more versatile.  I couldn’t wear the chuck style sneakers, but went with Superga’s instead and am thrilled with my new look when wearing them with jeans. I’ve even purchased a few pair of the skinny jeans, just making sure my backside is covered with a long enough top.  I feel like a new woman thanks to you!!  

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